Underestimating the Value of Conferences

July 3, 2020

Dear Editors:

Someone just sent me a link to Rebecca Edwards' LTE critiquing a recent IHE piece ("Supporting Faculty Careers Amid Uncertainty," July 2).  I have to admit that I did not read the article, since, not having time to spend reading what Edwards calls "drivel," I've stopped reading IHE. Like Edwards, I have found my experiences attending and presenting at conferences beneficial on many levels.  Over the years, I have presented at TESOL, at MLA, at NWSA, and at CCCC.  During those conferences, I have made new friendships, cemented old friendships, learned from my fellow panelists, and educated many of the attendees at our panels. I was incredibly lucky to teach at an institution that made institutional support for travel to conferences available to contingent faculty. While some people may agree with the position of the authors who denigrate conference attendance, I'm sure that many, if they were allowed to comment, would agree with Edwards. What a shame you have silenced those voices.

Dr. Betsy Smith
Retired Adjunct Professor of ESL
Cape Cod Community College

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